Young Researcher Workshop

Tuesday, May 2, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Goldman Room, Encina Hall, E409

The Double-Edged Effect of Internet Control on Productivity and Innovation: Evidence from China

Speaker: Meicen Sun, Postdoctoral Scholar, Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI)

This paper advances a new theory on the double-edged effect of Internet control, where it benefits domestic data-intensive firms and hurts domestic knowledge-intensive research entities. Exploiting a major Internet control shock in 2014, this paper finds that Chinese data-intensive firms gained from Internet control a 10% increase in revenue over other Chinese firms, and about 1-2% over their U.S. competitors. The same shock incurred an up to 25% reduction in research quality for researchers conditional on the knowledge-intensity of their discipline. While Internet control takes a toll on the country’s long-term capacity for innovation, it lends a short-term benefit to the country’s data-intensive sectors. Conventional wisdom on the inherent limit to cross-border information control by autocracies overlooks this crucial protectionist benefit that enhances autocratic resilience in the digital age.

About the Workshops

The SCCEI Young Researcher Workshops are a bi-weekly series of presentations from scholars around campus who are working on issues related to China’s economy and institutions. The aim of the series is to bring together young scholars by providing a platform to present new research, get feedback, exchange ideas, and make connections. Each session features a single presenter who may present a new research plan, share results from preliminary data analyses, or do a trial run of a job talk or conference presentation. The Workshop Series is an opportunity to give and receive feedback on existing research, get to know other researchers around campus who are working on or in China, and be a testing ground for new ideas, data, and presentations.

Workshops are held every other Tuesday from 2 - 3 pm. Afternoon refreshments will be provided! 

Visit the Young Researcher Workshops webpage for more information on the content and format of the series and to learn how to sign up to present.